The Royal College of Art partnered with The White Eagle Appeal and design agency Hellon to expand services to the Ukrainian refugee community and to help define a system that could be scaled. The White Eagle Club in Balham, South London, is a Polish community centre and became a UK volunteer and donation hub in March of 2022, a couple of days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, coordinating vital support to refugees settling in the UK and delivering humanitarian aid back into Ukraine. The brief explored how the White Eagle could formalise and expand their services to the refugee audience and to help define a system that could be scaled to other agencies. To support this endeavour, the leading design agency Hellon provided expertise and insights.
Our group endeavoured to empathize with the situation via an extensive research process. Exploring the challenges faced by refugees and asylum seekers globally and locally. We interviewed more than 20 different organisations, from charities, UN agencies, local authorities, volunteers, and refugee networks and conducted seven in-depth interviews with Ukrainian refugees.
Refugees face a myriad of barriers to accessing trusted information, which leads to vulnerability and reliance on their first point of contact.
Our vision is a UK with safe and legal routes for all refugees, where individuals can access trusted information about their rights, navigating complex new services and cultures with dignity and agency.
Our mission is to create a refugee-led service platform which enables community members to share lived experiences, easing the challenges of resettlement.
Using a myriad of service design tools including co-creative workshops, journey mapping, blueprinting and prototyping we developed our final service concept entitled Context.
Context is a browser extension which supports refugees by overlaying crowdsourced cultural interpretations of information onto existing websites. Allowing a community of individuals and organisations to provide insights and tips based on their lived experiences.
It’s like if Grammarly offered culturally interpreted advice instead of spelling & grammar checks.
Context was co-created, developed, and validated through a series of in-depth interviews, workshops, and feedback sessions with members of the Ukrainian refugee community. We ran ideation and co-creation exercises with stakeholders during our weekly meetings at the White Eagle, charting possible solutions. In the process, we heard enlightening personal stories that informed our final outcome.